Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape
Connecting Dots Across Asia's Tech and Urban Landscape

Singapore’s Digital Economy Forges Ahead: 5G Innovation, Smart Estates And Progressive Legislation

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) launched a series of initiatives to accelerate Singapore’s journey to become a leading Digital Economy. The initiatives were announced by Minister for Communications and Information, Mr S Iswaran, at Innovfest Unbound, which returns for its fifth and largest-ever edition as the anchor event of the Smart Nation Innovations Week.

S$40m to Support 5G Innovation

IMDA and the National Research Foundation (“NRF”) has set aside S$40 million to build an open and inclusive 5G Innovation ecosystem. This will support:

1. 5G technology trials for enterprise use-cases;

2. Creating a series of new open testbeds;

3. R&D in 5G, for example cybersecurity

As a start, IMDA will explore clusters such as maritime operations; urban mobility; smart estates; Industry 4.0, consumer applications and government applications. These clusters have been identified based on their potential for export globally reinforcing Singapore’s goal to be a global front-runner in impactful 5G use-cases.

Industry partnerships are already underway. A technology call by IMDA and PSA have been awarded to two mobile network operators, Singtel and M1, to explore the use of 5G technology for the Maritime industry. This technology call aims to explore 5G capabilities, and how it could potentially address PSA’s connectivity needs to enhance port productivity. Trials will be conducted at the PSA Living Lab in Pasir Panjang Terminal from 3Q 2019, and will last for 18 months.

Another partnership, to accelerate Singapore’s Industry 4.0 transformation, is also underway. A*STAR, JTC and Singtel have signed a memorandum of understanding to deploy 5G at A*STAR’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (“ARTC”) in Jurong Innovation District, to integrate 5G with technologies such as Internet-of-Things and Artificial Intelligence, enabling businesses to develop next-generation manufacturing solutions.

Driving Digital Transformation for Singapore’s Smart Estates

IMDA is also working closely with government agencies and industry partners to develop the Smart Estates ecosystem and enable Singapore developers, Singapore-based technology companies and Built Environment service providers to innovate in Singapore and seize greater market opportunities in the region.

IMDA has awarded S$1.5 million for eight projects for the Smart Estates Call for Innovation Solutions (“CFIS”) with Ascendas-Singbridge and JTC. Such projects include innovative use of 3D Digital Twin technology, and a cloud-based platform to enable quick searches for assets through a visual tour.

To further develop the Smart Estates ecosystem, IMDA has launched a new CFIS together with the Housing Development Board and Frasers Property Singapore.

Progressive Legislation to Facilitate Electronic Transactions

New technologies such as Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT”) and Electronic Transferable Records (“ETR”) are opening up new ways of transacting.

IMDA has launched a public consultation to seek views on its review of the Electronic Transactions Act (“ETA”). This will ensure the ETA continues to be progressive, facilitate innovation in the Digital Economy, strengthen Singapore’s position as a hub for electronic transactions, and support Digital Government efforts.

The ETA review will:

  • Enable more transactions under the ETA, including property transactions, wills, and Lasting Powers of Attorney; and
  • Provide certainty on the use of new technologies such as DLT, Smart Contracts and Biometrics; and
  • Update its Certification Authority framework

Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive of IMDA, said: “As we enter a digital-as-usual age, it is even more imperative for all segments of society to continue their urgent efforts to digitalise to be relevant and competitive. IMDA’s new multi-pronged, collaborative initiatives announced today addressing infrastructure, legislation and other challenges, will further complement our existing efforts to accelerate Singapore’s transformation to an advanced Digital Economy, and I encourage all organisations to participate in these programmes.”

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